Suspect Arrested in Connection with Phony TV Scam in Midland, Odessa

Suspect Arrested in Connection with Phony TV Scam in Midland, Odessa

By Alicia Neaves

NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA - If someone walks up to you and offers a good deal on a TV, don't fall for it. A man was caught trying to pull off the scam in Midland and Odessa but it appears his scamming days may be over.

Imagine you make a deal with someone to buy a TV. When you arrive to pick it up, they hand you the box, you hand them the money and they take off. But when you open it, there's not a TV inside. There's a bunch of boards and heavy stuff to make it seem like one.

"Recently we've been experiencing all sorts of scams. Telephone scams, Internet scams, in person, door-to-door scams," Cpl. Steve LeSueur, Public Information Officer of the Odessa Police Department, said.

It seems like a hot deal at first. A TV originally priced at $2,500 sold for $300 by a man who claims he works for Best Buy.

"If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is," LeSueur said.

But when residents in Midland and Odessa open the box, no TV is in sight. Just plywood.

The most recent victim was approached at a Dollar General in Odessa on Tuesday. Once they realized they were scammed, they jotted down the license plate and vehicle type. Shortly after, police caught 45-year-old Anthony Thomas on a traffic stop and arrested him on a felony warrant out of Fort Worth. This case is currently under investigation by the Odessa Police Department as a theft by deception. 

"Don't give anybody money until you actually see the property, until it's been verified," LeSueur said.

Police say it's always best to get a receipt.

"Scams come in all shapes and sizes but we encourage the public to be wary of them," LeSueur said.

If you suspect someone is scamming the public, call police.